While the performance of evaporative cooling systems is most crucial during hot months, it’s important to consider what maintenance steps can be taken throughout the year to ensure system performance and pad longevity.
Get a water analysis done from each well or water source in order to understand what challenges you are likely to face in the heat of the summer (calcium, magnesium, hardness, pH, alkalinity, etc.).
Prepare for hot months with these steps:
- Remove the pads and inspect them for damage, repairing if possible, replace pads with excessive damage. If you have hard water (scale on pads) consider weighing a few pads. Pads weighing 15+ pounds can lead to restricted airflow and negative impacts on static pressure and windspeeds.
- Rinse dust and debris from both sides of the pad at a lower pressure to extend the pad lifespan
- Clean areas around the pads, including frame and gutters
- Clean and replace filters, if needed
- Use SWASHCOOL-CELL™ during the flock to shorten cleaning time and allow for adequate cleaning between flocks.
- Regularly flush systems to eliminate concentrated minerals. Flush every 8-12 weeks in poultry facilities or every 2-3 weeks in swine facilities to maximize pad life and efficiency.
- Dump the water from your pad reservoir 1-2 times each month.
- Keep watch for leaks, clogged pipes, and overflowing sumps, which are all more common during warm months.
- Allow pads to completely dry out each night to reduce the chances of algae growth. Use SWASHCOOL-CELL™ to reduce drying time between cycles, keeping pads drier for longer so they can quickly return to full cooling capacity without developing algae stains.
- Clean water filters of dirt, insects, and other debris to ensure sufficient water flows to the pads throughout the flock.
Finish the cool cell season with clean, dry pads and no water in the trough. Pads left dirty over the winter can harden and begin to hold onto rainwater or snow.
- Clean the entire evaporative cooling system and doghouse; remove any scale on the pads.
- Flush out the header, trough, and sump, and then empty the water
- Clean and empty all pumps and filters
- Talk to your equipment manufacturer to ask if your system could benefit from the addition of antifreeze to the pump, based on your equipment and location
- Check seals on tunnel doors or flaps on curtains, replacing any necessary to ensure the doghouse seals off
- Check to see if rainwater has accumulated in the sump to ensure pads are not sitting in water which could degrade the quality of the bottom of the pads
- Seeing algae growth? See what can be done to limit sunlight. Algae requires just a few hours of sunlight daily to grow. Use winter downtime to cover sumps and filter housings, or an awning to limit sun exposure.
SWASHCOOL-CELL™ can be used any time of year to help improve airflow and extend the life of your evaporative cooling pads. Contact us now to discuss how to add SWASHCOOL-CELL™ to your program this spring.